Made to pay Rs 7 extra on bus, man gets Rs 30k compensation

Later, on enquiry with the depot officials, he learnt that there was no ‘special service’ on the day he travelled and moved the Villupuram district consumers redressal commission alleging deficiency in service.
Representative image
Representative image

CHENNAI: Made to pay Rs 7 extra in a government bus, a 60-year-old man moved the consumer disputes redressal commission, which ruled in his favour and directed TNSTC (Tamil Nadu state transport corporation) to pay Rs 30,000 as compensation for the mental agony caused to him.

In his petition, R Karuna of Villupuram stated that on January 20, 2020, he had boarded an ‘ordinary fare’ bus from Villupuram to Thirukovilur. When the elderly man gave Rs 25 to the bus conductor, which is the standard fare for Thirukovilur, the conductor told him that the fare on that bus is Rs 32 and demanded seven rupees extra.

When Karuna questioned the conductor as to why he is demanding extra, when it is mentioned on the windshield as an ‘ordinary fare’ bus, the staff acted rudely and asked him to get off the bus. Since he was an elderly man and it was around 10.30 pm, he paid the extra amount and continued travelling.

Later, on enquiry with the depot officials, he learnt that there was no ‘special service’ on the day he travelled and moved the Villupuram district consumers redressal commission alleging deficiency in service.

Karuna also submitted that the registration number of the bus he travelled on was different from the one printed on the ticket. “This is also a service deficiency. In case of an accident, if the passengers seek compensation from the insurance firm or the corporation itself, the ticket is an important document and the authorities can claim that the concerned bus was not involved in the accident,” the petitioner stated.

In response, the TNSTC authorities said that the conductor had screamed that the bus was a special service and there would be extra fare when the bus was at the bus stand. The authorities accepted that the ticket dispensing EDM (electric dispensing machine) of another bus was taken instead of the concerned bus and it was their mistake.

After perusing the submissions, the consumer forum held that there was a deficiency in service on part of the transport corporation and directed that Rs 30,000 compensation be paid for the mental agony and legal expenses. The commission also directed the refund of Rs.7 along with 12 % interest.

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